Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα)

June 14th, 2018 § 0

This food is made to remember those who have passed and treated to all in attendance to the memorial. It is made primarily of wheat berry, which symbolizes life and regeneration. Like wheat, people are buried in order to grow and have a new life. It is a fine way to honour the deceased with the food of life.

Koliva has a soft gravel like texture and served in a large tray, spooned out into cups or on small plates.

The nutritious dessert koliva, has high in fiber and provides iron and protein.

For preperation, it requires time, patience and care.

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted yellow chickpeas (sarı leblebi in Turkish) (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/2 cup petit-beurre biscuits (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 T. currants (washed and soaked)
  • 1 T. cinnamon powder
  • 1 t. carnation powder
  • For topping:

  • 300 gr powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • dragees (optional)
  • de-seeded pomegranate (optional as is not always in season)
  • Rinse the wheat berries and place them in a large saucepan. Put in water and soak overnight.

    Add enough water to the pressure cooker and bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the wheat berries are tender and beginning to split but not mushy.

    Drain in the strainer to cool.

    Cover an oven tray with a clean towel and spread the wheat berries in pieces on the towel for at least 4-5 hours.

    Boil the almonds for about 5-10 minutes, in order to remove the skins. Once they are peeled, pop them into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice to keep them nice and white.

    Then toast the almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds and allow to cool in separate bowls.

    Place the drained wheat berries in a large mixing bowl. Add the sesame seeds, sugar, powdered roasted chickpeas, powdered petit-beurres, coarsely chopped walnuts, cinnamon, carnation and drained currants. Toss it all together.

    Transfer the mixture to a large platter or tray.

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top to coat it thickly, almost like a frosting.

    Decorate the top with the whole almonds and the dragees.

    The wheat berries can ferment if left at room temperature overnight and the sugar can crystallize in a moist environment.

    For that reason, if left by chance, cover and store refrigerated.

    Olive salad (Zeytin piyazı)

    January 25th, 2011 § 0

    The olive tree is the sign of health, victory, prosperity, peace, wisdom, purity and rebirth for many civilizations. Also, it is one of the famous symbol of Aegean region.

    This tasty salad is served as a meze in Ayvalık region. From a humble breakfast to the most sumptuous feast, the olive salad never fail to grace our tables.

  • 20 green olives (stoned)
  • 1 T dill (cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 red pepper (cut in small cubes)
  • 3 walnut (cut in small pieces)
  • Cut the stoned green olives in small pieces. Combine red pepper cubes, dill and walnut in a bowl. 

    for the sauce:

  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic (mashed)
  • 1 T pomegranate molasses or Balsamic vinegar
  • Mix olive oil with pomegranate molasses and mashed garlic. Add it to the bowl and gently stir.

    Easy raisin cake with almond

    January 4th, 2011 § 0

    As we welcome winter, we are seduced by sweet cakes to get extra energy. This very easy to do raisin cake keeps really well, for that reason I generally make it a day in advance. Before serving, you can warm the cake by setting it in a 100° C oven for 10 minutes.

    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cup flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup ground almonds (blanched)
    • 1/4 cup walnuts (coarsely crushed)
    • 1 T baking powder
    • 1 T raisin (yellow coloured)
    • 2 T cognac

    Beat together eggs and sugar. Add olive oil, milk and vanilla extract. Sift flour and baking powder and add it to the mixture. Put the ground almonds, the crushed walnuts and raisin. Pour 2 T cognac and stir together until smooth.

    Spoon into a greased tin. Bake 40 minutes at 180° C pre-heated oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

    Serve warm or leave to cool.

    Melomakarona~honey macaron cookies (???????????? – kalburabastı)

    December 28th, 2010 § 0

    Melomakarona literally means honey macarons in Greek. The Turkish version of this dessert is kalburabastı, which literally means pressed to sieve. Because after giving the cookie form, it is traditional to press the top of the cookie with a sieve for decoration. 

    This is a traditional festive cookie either for Greeks and for Turkish people.

    The Christmas festive period of Greece starts on 25th of December(Christmas-????????????) and lasts until 6th of January (Theofania-?????????). The Father Christmas of Greece is Saint Basil of Caesarea- Kayseri. In Greece, unlike other countries where Saint Nicholas arrives on Christmas Eve, the Greek Father Christmas Saint Basilvisits children and give presents every New Year’s eve. For that reason like in Turkey also in Greece, it is customary to exchange small gifts on 31th of December.

    In some parts of Greece, the honey biscuits~melomakarona called finikia, most probably the name comes from Finike city of  Antalya.

  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnut
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • grated orange zest
  • Put dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them. Add liquid ingredients and combine to form a soft dough.

    Roll the dough and shape different forms with cookie cutters.

    Place the cookies on a parchment paper covered tray.

    Bake 30 minutes at pre-heated 180° C oven until golden. Allow to cool a bit for 5 minutes.

    for the syrup:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Put them into a pot and bring to boil.

    Dip the cookies into the syrup and let them absorb the syrup.

    for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnut
  • 1 T chopped pistachio
  • Sprinkle with chopped walnut and pistachio.

    Store at room temperature.

    Walnut crescent cookies (Ayçöreği)

    December 19th, 2010 § 0

    These crescent shaped cookies filled with walnut and dry currant, will be our companion during the freezing days of winter!

  • 600 gr flour
  • 3 T icing sugar
  • 200 gr butter (cut in cubes)
  • 20 gr yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • Dissolve yeast in water. Make a crater using flour and pour this mixture on it. Add butter, sugar, salt and make a dough. Cover and chill for one hour.

    Make small walnut shapes. With hands make round shapes.

    For the filling:

  • 200 gr walnut (crushed)
  • 200 gr caster sugar
  • 50 gr dry currants
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • grated orange rind jam
  • hazelnut for decoration
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

    Spread a teaspoon of the filling into the dough and shape a crescent form. Thus, twist each in the form of  a half  moon. Repeat with the rest. Brush egg yolk on top and sprinkle hazelnut.

    Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the crescents to the baking sheet.

    Bake in 180° C pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes until lightly brown.

    Can be stored in covered container.

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